Court Orders Destruction Of Rotten Fish

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered that a consignment of fish imported into the country by a limited liability company, Ivy Hill Nigeria Limited should be destroyed by the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC.

The consignment of fish was alleged to be no longer good for human consumption.

The order was sequel to a statement filed before the court by a Lagos lawyer, Mr. Ladipo Johnson on behalf of a shipping company, CMA CGM Delmas Nigeria Limited against two companies, IVY Hill Nigeria Limited and Chmpasan Industry Limited, importers of mackerel with offices at 3, Omoakin Avenue, Ifako, Ogba, Lagos and 62/64, Borno Crescent, Apapa, Lagos, respectively.

The plaintiff alleged that Ivy Hill Limited, through its shippers, Rohlig Chile LTDA, imported frozen horse Mackerel fish into the country through Lagos port on 1 January, 2010 and contrary to the contract of carriage, refused to take the delivery of the consignment because of undue delay in documentation.

As early as 20 January, it was learnt, Chupasam Industry Limited who claimed to be the bonafide owner of the consignment asked for joint inspection of the consignment but the consignment was not cleared.

However, on  6 May, 2010 the container terminal informed the plaintiff that the container was posing a health hazard if it remained at the point, consequently the plaintiff alerted NAFDAC of the situation and made arrangement for its destruction at a cost to be paid by Ivy Hill Company.

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The plaintiff contended that in clear breach of the contract of carriage and implied terms of the contract of carriage and trade, the defendants refused to take delivery of the consignment and pay the demurrage in the sum of N46,242,427 or any part thereof.

The plaintiff prayed the court to issue an order permitting it to auction or sell the consignment to salvage its value if any or in the alternative destroy the consignment, if it is no longer fit for human consumption.

It also asked the court to order the defendant to pay N2 million to it being money needed for the destruction of the consignment and N46,242,427 as the amount due as demurrage on the consignment.

In acceding to the request of the plaintiff, the presiding judge, Justice Binta Murtala Nyako ordered that the consignment, which is constituting health hazards at the Tin Can Island container terminal should be destroyed.

—Akin Kuponiyi

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